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Because of COVID-19, unemployment rates are high and many people’s cash flows are low. Scammers view these as ripe conditions to strike. They’ll stop at nothing — not even a pandemic — to trick you into sharing your personal or financial information. That includes pretending to be a government official from the Federal Trade Commission to gain your trust. 

We just heard about an email going around from someone claiming to be from the FTC. This scam email says you’ll get money from a COVID-19 “Global Empowerment Fund.” All you need to do, it says, is respond with your bank account information and they’ll transfer the funds. But that’s a scam. There’s no money and there’s no fund. And it’s not from the FTC. If you get a message like this, don’t respond. Instead, report it to the real FTC at

The FTC will never contact you by phone, email, text message, or social media to ask for your financial information. (Or your Social Security number.) Anyone who does is a scammer, phishing for your information.

If you’re getting an economic stimulus payment, that money will come from the Internal Revenue Service.

If you think you gave your financial information to a scammer, go to for steps you can take to protect yourself.

To keep up with the latest scams, sign up for the FTC's consumer alerts

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

June 30, 2020
Thank you, Shameka Walker. This helps a lot. I will share this information with my family, friends, and relatives. You are right, lots of scammers are working hard to steal money from the public most especially to people that most vulnerable and impacted with the on-going COVID-19 dilemma.
June 30, 2020
thank you for all your info, i sure hope no one falls for this!! keep up the great work, thank you again and stay safe and healthy all!!
June 30, 2020
Whoever runs this blog is doing God's work. This sick a great resource to not only find out what's going on, but to point people to. Thanks for this public service.
June 30, 2020
Some of the basics that people should go by are: DON'T give personal information to anyone unless you initiated the contact and I don't mean by clicking on a link in an email, responding to a text or even a phone call. I mean if you look up the # and call your bank, etc. NEVER use email or texts to provide any personal info, most legit businesses will not do business that way, it is not secure, if they do and you do really know the source tell them you do not feel comfortable providing that info thru that method. KNOW who you are communicating with, if you are not sure, don't provide any info no matter if they threaten you, no legitimate institute will tell you are in trouble or be arrested thru email, text or phone. Be safe out there!
June 30, 2020
Thank you for your update FTC, I will let all my friends know.. Great information on these scammers in what they are doing next... All the best and stay safe from Kaza27...
June 30, 2020
Thank u so much . I enjoy reading all the emails. I hope this old lady is learning from u . Thanks again
KDDDon't use y…
July 01, 2020
Love the info you share, I share it everytime I receive it. It maybe be annoying to some but I like to keep it fresh in people's minds.
July 01, 2020
Thank you for this information. I did receive one of these emails but didn't even open it! Thank you again for all your good work.
Praying One
July 01, 2020
Thanks for enlightening us. Each one of us must share this in order to help someone else. I was scammed by someone and his cronies pretending to be with the investigating department of the OFAC. I thi k they are back at it.
July 06, 2020
Today I just got called by a scammer and I told him I knew he was trying to scam me. No government agency calls you to tell you that you have money waiting for you in a Federal bank account!
July 10, 2020
what do it mean when you receive a email from the covid-19 long department that's a multiple application been processed in your name but when you only apply for one application and it was not for the long but just for the grant
July 12, 2020
PayPal put a "Limitations" on my account seconds after my 3rd Unemployment Payment was deposited, almost$ 1500.00 I can't touch my money at all and I am being evicted now, lost my truck to report, my storage unit was lost with everything owned in it and I am about to loose my leg due to not being able to get off of it or get to Dr. After being shot a few days before my payment was sent by TWC. To Paypal. What can be done to free my money or make them return it to TWC So that it can be resent to me
October 04, 2021

In reply to by Ken0228

They wanted 3,000 for me to pay the IRS for insurance to deliver plus another 18530.00 in the beginning.
September 30, 2020
I was sent a link regarding funds relief from the federal government due to the covid19 epidemic and decided to paste it online to fetch for information about it and here I am. Many thanks to the brains behind this platform. Here's the link received fundz4covid19.
October 04, 2021
Someone also send me like that the difference is the name and address is that a scam????
October 04, 2021
ky587725 this email account email me that I have won amount of money. Not so sure that it is legit because it is from UNITED NATION - ASEAN RELEIF FUND. I have a doubt to this. please report this email. thank you!
October 04, 2021
Just received this scam email. Bad English as usual. Dear, Sir/Ma, The United Nations in collaboration with President Trump signs bill that includes $900 billion corona virus relief portion the bill includes $600 stimulus checks, extends two federal unemployment programs, provides an additional $300 in weekly jobless benefits, and adds another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses. Also included is funding for vaccine distribution and schools, $25 billion in rental assistance, an extension of the eviction moratorium, $13 billion in food assistance, and $7 billion to increase access to broadband. Therefore,You are to reconfirm the below information to Dr. John Samartha. ( unationoffice@ ) to enable us authenticate your payment: Full Name: Address: SSN: Date of birth: And a scanned copy of you drivers license You can visit this link for more information (https://www. aol. com /president- trump- signs- bill -includes- 012610082. html) Dr. John Samartha Director The Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) usa Covid-19 Untitled form Fill out form
Email watcher
October 04, 2021
Already passed by one scammer by checking on post but now have also been emailed by for a grant ,cash not to paid back. SCAM ...Be aware.
February 07, 2021
After i gived them my personal information, they send me a certificat that contains my name to win my trust and they asked me to send the certificate to another email gived by them
March 10, 2021
People have been contacting me on FB and told me that they saw my name on a list for this money that the Covid Fund Relief wants to pay me. They are asking for all my banking details and personal information. I must also pay them some money to get my so-called money. I guess it's a scam.
October 04, 2021
Received this is a text message, from : I04605@ Your number has been picked to benefit in the pandemic donation, Send your email for Info
April 16, 2021
I received a text from DIRECT RELIEF INTERNATIONAL claiming to be a covid palliative relief fund saying I would get 750.00 a week if I just sent them my information which included my as number! I believe this is a scam !!!!
October 04, 2021

In reply to by blndesmartass

Just received a similar text, group text in fact, with sender's number listed as +1-405-269-9283 ... message reads, "2021 COVID-19 PALLIATIVE FUND DIRECT RELIEF INTERNATIONAL PROGRAM as a charity organization would like to give you a Covid-19 Palliative Fund of $750 per week for the next 32 weeks. For more details, please visit tinyurl. com/ 5y 2sa bky "
August 02, 2021

In reply to by blndesmartass

So this is a scam as well? My friend got that same exact one and i tried to tell him it was a scam
June 11, 2021
Thankyou this was so helpful to me because I just received a text message on my phone saying that I will get 750 weekly..and they want a pic of my w2 form and stuff...and I'm like no ty
June 11, 2021
I received a text message saying this just today and I need money so desperately right now I almost jumped right on it good thing I had the fore thought to Google it first
June 16, 2021
I recieved a text message from an institution(person) claiming to be from Direct Relief international asking me to fill a form with my personal infomation to get a relief payment of $750 per weekly for 26 weeks. I looked up the name of the institution and logo and tax ID it matches the original direct relief international but i wasn't convinced because i never get a text from any NGO or government institution(s) therefore, i refused to complete the form as much as i wanted to. This information helped me alot to confirm my daubts. Thanks again. My name is Abdul.( Maryland)
August 23, 2021
Received this text. I know it’s fake, just wanted to share. FRM:COVID-19 Information MSG:You have $1750 unclaimed covid-19 support payment 2021: #1 (410) 200-718
Mohamed Aminul
October 04, 2021
"USA:YOUR NUMBER HAVE BEEN SELECTED($550.000USD)FROM UN IN USA ,COVID-19 RELIEF EFFORT:SEND YOUR NAMES,ADDRESS,AGE,TEL TO E-mail: info @ centralemergencyprogram. I got this message today
October 04, 2021
I recieved a text from this number 09124374194 with email address ryd6842 @ and a Reference # which is NVD/N31/29221. Stated in the text that I won $320,000.00 from Northern Atlantic Relief Fund and they emailed me a about the process on how to claim the prize. This is the complete address and information of the scammer North Atlantic Relief Fund. Southeast Asia Payment Centre, 13th Floor, Rajanakarn Building, 3 South Sathorn Road, Yan Nawa, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand. Telephone: +66656499839. Named of the Payment Coordinator(Souteast Asia) is JOHN PERRY. This scammer asked my personal information and asking amount for the for the refund.